images (1)Here we go again! I am sure that for most that was the first thing you said to yourself upon waking this morning. I mean it is monday. Who really likes mondays? I will tell you who! This guy!

Okay to be honest Mondays are not my favorite, but I do like them for the simple reason that they mean a brand new week has begun. It's like a clean slate to make a great start of it. I hope everyone else can come to see the awesomeness in that, but until then I hope that these Monday posts with a list of things to read gives you something to look forward to each monday morning.

Before jumping straight into the list I wanted to share a little synopsis of my past weekend, which unlike most weekends was rather exciting.

If I haven't mentioned before I have two siblings. One is a younger brother and the other is an older sister. There is a two year difference in age between all of us. This meant that we were all pretty close and spent a lot of time around each other growing up, which was at times good and other times led to a few fights, but this past weekend both of my siblings had huge milestone achievements in life which I am just to proud of to not put in print somewhere other than Facebook, of course.

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My brother's accomplishment was graduating from highschool. It was incredible to see him graduate and I am glad I got to be there. My brother is a really unique, awesome guy that is incredibly creative, outgoing, and fun. This was also I milestone for my  mother because it meant she successfully graduated three kids from high school which let me just tell you is a huge accomplishment considering all the crap she had to put up with during those years.

My sister's awesome achievement was finally making her study abroad trip, which she left for on saturday. It was a  requirement she needed to fullfil to get her bachelor's degree. Her major is Spanish, so the trip had to be to a spanish speaking country which ended up being ecuador. She was really nervous about going, but she followed through with her plans. I Skyped with her last night and she is enjoying her host family and although she would rather come home she plans to make the best of it.

My sister is on the right. This is a picture of her, her friend, and her host mom in Ecuador.

Needless to say I am really proud of my siblings and their accomplishments. My family took several big steps forward to the next chapter in life. But enough of my boring family stuff, lets get to what you came here for.

1. Should You Use Scale Weight as a Measure of Success? Hint: No by Tony Gentilcore

I repeatedly tell clients that the scale should not be a measure of success. I use it with clients as a compass. Most of my clients are fat loss and weight loss clients. This means that there should be a reduction in weight if they want to reach their goal. Not that weight loss should occur every day, but over the long term you should be able to see a trend line that goes downward. So I do ask clients to weight in everyday for two reasons. First it keeps their head in the game. Second it allows me to have data points to plot and graph a trend line to see if we are making progress.

But as Tony Gentilcore talks about in this post, it should not be the measure of success. Success should be gauged by the individual based on the overall transformation process. Which involves both a person's mental and physical changes. I hope Tony's rant can help convince you to stop focusing on the scale and rather use it as a compass to show you if you are moving in the right direction.

2. What Do We Know About Split Squats by Chris Beardsley

Here is one for all you nerds. Chris Beardsley wrote this short round up post that details all the available literature regarding the split squat and what the implications are for trainers, trainees, and coaches. I highly recommend reading it or none the less skipping to the implications section. There are some real gems, such as the fact that split squats can be a comparable replacement for the back squat in regards to the level of muscle activation.

3. The State of Evidence-Based Fitness by Bryan Chung

This is one of my all time favorite blog posts I have ever read. Bryan Chung is kinda of what you would call my inspiration. He began his blog in 2007 and I began reading it in 2009. I loved his approach to exercise. He wanted to attack the industry with demonstrated evidence and literature to rid the industry of any and all unsubstantiated claims regarding weight loss, muscle growth, and strength gains. This provoked me to join the effort in 2011 when I started this blog. The whole idea behind my name, Intellectual Fitness, is a intellectual approach to getting healthier. I wanted to put out quality information that helps others become healthier that finds support in scientific literature, rather than be another trainer running around throwing out advice without any real evidence to support what I am saying.

I have a long way to go before I ever have the impact that Bryan Chung has on the industry, but maybe one day. I did get to meet Bryan at the The Fitness Summit two weekends ago. He is a really nice, down to earth guy in spite of all his accomplishments. To share a little about Bryan he is plastic surgeon with a speciality for hand surgery. But this is just his latest endeavor. He also holds a MS in Rehabilitation Science as well as  Ph.d in Medical Science. Long story short this guy is incredibly smart and knows a thing or two about the human body, research, and how we should handle both.

In this post Bryan gives an overview of what he believes the current state of evidence based fitness is and whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I think you all will really enjoy his writing and I highly recommend you add his blog to your weekly reading list.

I hope everyone enjoys this week's list! Until tomorrow!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training